Amaravati Inner Ring Road scam: CID urges court to issue NBW against Lokesh

The counsel also submitted the paper clippings, interviews and videos of Lokesh’s speech during the conclusion of his Yuva Galam Padayatra to judge BSV Himabindu.
TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh. (Photo | EPS)
TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh. (Photo | EPS)

VIJAYAWADA: In a major development in the alleged Amaravati Inner Ring Road (IRR) scam, the Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (APCID) on Friday requested the ACB (Anti-Corruption Bureau) special court in Vijayawada to issue a non-bailable warrant against Telugu Desam Party (TDP) general secretary Nara Lokesh for allegedly making threatening remarks to intimidate witnesses and officials investigating the case.

The sleuths also sought permission from the court to arrest the 40-year-old for violating the conditions prescribed in a notice served on him under Section 41A on September 29. It may be pointed out that Lokesh is accused number 14 in the alleged land scam.

In the memo filed by the State government’s counsel on Friday, CID officials submitted that Lokesh, during his interviews with vernacular news channels, spoke about a ‘red book’ in which he has allegedly listed names of government officials, especially police officers, who allegedly created hurdles and filed cases against him and his party leaders, and how they would be punished, immediately after the TDP returns to power in the State.

The counsel also submitted the paper clippings, interviews and videos of Lokesh’s speech during the conclusion of his Yuva Galam Padayatra to judge BSV Himabindu. Presenting the arguments, the counsel said Lokesh’s statements were nothing but an attempt to threaten the investigation agency and intimidate the witnesses. Stating that Lokesh was served a notice under Section 41A with certain conditions, the probe agency said the TDP leader violated the norms during his interviews with television news channels.

Referring to Lokesh’s comments that the ‘ruling YSRC had managed the institutions and sent former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu to judicial remand for 53 days’, the counsel said, “Judicial remand is a legal process in any case. Making such comments amounts to tarnishing the image of the judicial institutions in the eyes of the people.”After hearing the arguments, judge Himabindu directed Lokesh to file counterarguments and adjourned the case to December 28.

Meanwhile, the CID also took up the issue with the Andhra Pradesh High Court. CID Special Public Prosecutor Dushyanth Reddy filed a memo before the bench of Justice Tallapragada Mallikarjuna Rao. Pointing out that the court while allowing bail to Naidu in the State Skill Development Corporation scam case had imposed certain restrictions on him, the probe agency accused the TDP chief of speaking about the case in violation of the bail conditions.

Reddy asked the court to take cognisance of the remarks made by Naidu and Lokesh while delivering the verdict in Naidu’s anticipatory bail plea in the IRR case. Naidu’s counsel S Pranathi objected to the same and said arguments over the anticipatory bail plea have concluded. The counsel said the case has been posted to Friday for filing written arguments. She urged the court not to consider CID’s memo. The court asked Pranathi to place the objections in writing and posted the matter for hearing on Saturday.

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